While 16 ordinances were brought up for consideration or public reading at the July 14th city council meeting, just six were approved; the rest will be voted on at future meetings.
The first ordinance on the agenda, one that’s drawn significant public attention, concerned potential demolition of the Elks Building as part of a new Delaware County courthouse. The relevant ordinance was held over for a fourth reading on July 28th, where county officials will provide updated information to Council.
Two of the ordinances which were approved concerned an expansion to Liberty Casting, supported by the City Planning Department.
During public comment on the ordinance, Delaware resident Marilyn Nims read a letter to council concerning noxious odors she believes come from the plant ‒ an issue that was also raised during previous public debate on the ordinance.
At the Council meeting June 23, Liberty Casting CEO Jerry Harmeyer said that their procedures are in EPA compliance and that the company uses affordable filtration systems; Harmeyer was at the July 14 meeting but did not make a public comment.
Second Ward Councilwoman Lisa Keller noted that she’d observed the odor, but after discussing the matter with City Attorney Darren Shulman said the issue should be handled separately.
The council also approved an ordinance authorizing City Manager Tom Homan to negotiate with representatives of Berkshire Township and the Village of Sunbury on entering a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) to oversee a planned Tanger/Simon outlet mall.
The JEDD was also an issue that had been discussed previously at Council, and Berkshire Trustee Chairman Bill Holtry, Administrator Jeff George and Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield returned to Delaware to discuss the ordinance with City Council.
Other ordinances approved by Council included appropriations ordinances to fund an Economic Development Specialist position and provide funding to increase the depth of Mingo Park’s Jack Florance Pool.
Council also voted to remove compensation for the Civil Service Commission, which the Commission had agreed with.
Ordinances scheduled for additional readings involve Sawmill Parkway, a Community Reinvestment Area Agreement with Henkel Corporation, a comprehensive plan and rezoning agreement with Forman Insurance Agency and a permit for the city to store flammable liquid at an East William Street lot owned by the city.
The Council was also introduced to three new Delaware police officers ‒ John Needham, Kyle Tomlin and Brent Simon. Sergeant Adam Willauer was on vacation and unable to attend.
Council members also surprised Vonie DiGenova, wife of Third Ward Councilman Joe DiGenova, with a presentation honoring her 37 years of service as a teacher at Willis Intermediate School.
According to Councilman DiGenova, she’d been told he was receiving a city proclamation in order to get her to attend.
“Your husband told you a little white lie,” said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle.
After receiving the proclamation, Vonie DiGenova described her students, many of whom had autism.
“They were the sweetest and most adorable loving children,” she said, encouraging the audience to donate for autism research.